The game began with the final and very anti-climatic Redemption Island challenge. Playing for an opportunity to be voted off again by Rob Mariano were his zombies Andrea, Matt, and Grant alongside Mike. Andrea made it very clear going into the game that she was the “under under dog” so of course the challenge was one that was geared for her she was able to win. It was a challenge which required balance, and after Grant, Matt, and Mike lost balance in that order, Andrea won her shot back into the game.
While it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Rob’s groupies Ashley and Natalie to team up with Andrea and vote off Rob one of the men, they simply failed to use their brains as Rob was able to convince them, quite easily, to vote off Andrea. Rob was so confident in his mind control over his cult members that he even contemplated not playing his idol. Ultimately he did though he didn’t need to as the others voted off Andrea.
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The next to last episode of this season’s Survivor: Redemption Island begins with Ashley relishing in the blindside the Ometepe served fellow tribe member Andrea. Meanwhile, once the newest cast-off arrives on Redemption Island, Andrea somehow tries to gain sympathy for her recent betrayal while blaming Matt for her decision to vote against him. Needless to say, Andrea is getting zero love from the folks she has sent to Redemption Island before her.
The duel among the Redemption Island crew involves navigating a handle through a long maze of tiles (similar to a Cracker Barrel game, if I recall) and then completing a puzzle at the end. Ralph starts off strong and is the first to finish the maze. GO RALPH! Andrea is so far behind on the maze, mumbling and grumbling the entire time. Much like with past duels, Mike wins, with Matt a close second. Fortunately for Andrea (and unfortunately for me), Ralph can’t get the puzzle together and is sent to the jury.
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This week’s Survivor: Redemption Island was a slight roller coaster of emotions (don’t judge me), what with the Ometepe turning on one of their own, the castaways’ family members making an appearance, and Phillip revealing that he’s a genius. Ralph and Steve arrive on Redemption Island, and it’s becoming clear that the jury could be full of Zapatera. Ometepe Mayor Boston Rob reveals that he’s pretty confident that his followers friends are too slow and stupid kind to reach the conclusion that the smart thing to do would be to vote him off if given the opportunity.
Tree-mail arrives and the group revels in the chance to watch videos of their family members, and who can blame them after 30 days? In the first four person duel, Matt, Mike, Steve, and Ralph must battle it out using metal balls to break tiles. The loser will be sent to the jury–duh–but the winner? He’ll get to spend time with a family member in person. After four rounds of this primitive game of ski-ball, Mike wins, and Steve is sent packing. My eyes may have gotten a tad misty when Mike’s mom comes out of the jungle (fine, judge away). THEN, in a SO VERY WRONG scenario, Jeff Probst gives Mike three choices. Mike can a) spend some time with his mom; b) forgo his family time and allow his fellow Redemption Island roommates to hang out with their loved ones; or c) stiff it to his bunk mates, send his mom back into the jungle, and give the family time to the group who voted him off in the first place. In a shocking (sweet? strategic?) move, Mike chooses the third option, making the Ometepe happy (and hopefully grateful without short-term memories), Ralph angry, and his mother proud. Honestly, I don’t think his move was strategic…I just think he’s just genuinely that good of a guy.
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On this week’s Survivor, “A Mystery Package,” the Murlonio tribe reigns supreme as the final two Zapatera members, former NFL player Steve Wright and farmer (and my favorite) Ralph Kiser, are sent packing for Redemption Island. PuppetmasterBoston Rob Mariano continues to pull the strings which will likely ensure him a spot in the finale, seeing as his minions can’t think for themselves.
Last week, Julie’s flame was extinguished, but not before she admitted to burying Federal Agent (?) Phillip’s shorts where they will never be found. Fortunately, the “mystery package” was not the viewers having to watch Phillip tool around in his pink tighty-whiteys (tighty-pinkys?) for the entire episode–this undercover specialist has a dream in which his grandfather comes to him and leads him to his missing shorts. Lo and behold, he actually finds the spot, digs and digs, and retrieves his shorts. Thankfully. He can’t wait to face Julie wearing said shorts, and compares it to a scene from A Few Good Men. “You know what I want to say to Julie? What did Jack Nicholson say to Tom Cruise? ‘You can’t STAND the truth.'” Eh, close enough, Phillip.
Matt, Mike and Julie make the trek over from Redemption Island to see who will be second loser the next member of the jury. Matt admits that he feels at peace, and if God thinks it’s his time to go home, he’s ready to leave. He glances quickly (and not too kindly) at that chick who threw him under the busAndrea, who later remarked that it seemed like he gave her a dirty look, but she could be reading into it. Yeah, that’s it. The three compete in a battle to the death, or “shuffleboard” as the geriatrics call it. Sadly, Julie just can’t slide the disk across the board, so puck it, she’s the newest addition to the jury.
Andrea feels some guilt for breaking Matt’s spirit “on a human level, not on a game level” (thanks for the clarification), which causes her Ometepe buddies to question her loyalty in the event Matt comes back from Redemption Island. With that in mind, the cast heads to a log roll competition for the immunity challenge and reward–chocolate cake and ice-cold milk. After two nail-biting rounds of the castaways tap dancing on a log, Grant Mattos and Ralph are left to vie for immunity. Grant wins, inviting Boston Rob to sit next to him in the cafeteria and braid his hair join him for cake. He also shares his loot with Andrea in hopes of making her feel secure before her tribe turns against her and throws her under the bus.
Jeff Probst gives the remaining group a “mystery package” which is a twist that will be revealed at Tribal Council. I can’t help but wonder if Jeff didn’t just wrap up a brick to mess with these folks. Steve tries to get the Ometepe girls to join him and Ralph in their attempt to vote off Boston Rob. Ralph, through the magic of subtitles, believes he will be voted off. (I LOVE him. Being from the South, I sometimes wish I had someone translating for me a good bit of the time.) Smart cookie, that Ralph.
At Tribal Council, Ralph is voted off to no one’s surprise. However, the “mystery package” is opened and (HOLY TWIST!!) there will be an immediate immunity challenge followed by another vote, giving the crew no time to discuss alliances. This must have been the retirement home episode, because after the riveting game of shuffle board, this immunity challenge is basically a dumbed down “Simon Says” with camping images printed on tiles. Boston Rob wins immunity, and the lone Zapatera Steve goes to join Ralph on Redemption Island.
I highly doubt veteran Boston Rob will be going anywhere anytime soon. I mean, if so, who will be around to pull the strings of his tribe members? Not everyone can form a clique as easily as a 10th grade mean girl, so I have to give Rob major props. And in the event he is voted off soon? Fear not, folks…he’s covered.
After four seasons of Survivor and two seasons of Amazing Race (with wife and fellow Survivor winner Amber), Rob is teaming up with monster truck guru Dennis Anderson. People.com reports that the two “will challenge each other to circumnavigate the globe using 80 different methods of transportation with the caveat that each cannot repeat any way twice” in the History Channel’s new series, Around the World in 80 Ways. Rob cites his time on Amazing Race as fueling his love of travel. The appeal of this show, however, takes a unique approach. Rob reveals, “Around the World in 80 Ways is completely different from anything I’ve done before in that this show will be a celebration of transportation throughout history.” While Rob admits he will miss his wife and young daughters (and hopes that none of the modes of travel will cause claustrophobia), he is very excited to begin this new adventure. I wonder what kind of strings he’ll be pulling then…
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON LAST NIGHT’S SURVIVOR & THE RECAP? ARE ROB’S MINIONS THE WORST PLAYERS TO PLAY THE GAME?
Just a few weeks following the finale of season 21, CBS is now unveiling the cast of the all new 22nd season of Survivor: Redemption Island, which will reportedly include two former all-stars.
The battle begins this season in Nicaragua where the 18 castaways will be divided into two Tribes of nine: the Ometepe Tribe and the Zapatera Tribe. The tribes are comprised of individuals from all different backgrounds with the same ultimate goal: to be the Sole Survivor. While 16 of the contestants are new to the competition, two are former castaways who will be given another chance to compete for the million dollar prize and one last shot at redemption.
CBS has released the names of 16 out of the 18 castaways with the promise to reveal the final 2 contestants at the end of this week. It is heavily rumored that those two remaining contestants are none other than rivals Russell Hantz and Rob Mariano. Their return would definitely make for an interesting season.
As we have previously reported, this season of Survivor will be a bit different thanks to some new rules. In fact, host Jeff Probst explained the rule changes two weeks ago. The biggest change being that eliminated contestants do not leave the game but instead go instead to the “Redemption Island,” where he or she will face off against the next person voted off in a duel.
The loser goes home with the duel winner going on to face the next arrival at Redemption Island until one person is left standing. That individual will get a chance to return to the game. The other rule change is that producers will get to decide whether or not people who quit the game during the jury stage will get to stay and vote for a winner.
The new season of Survivor premieres February 16 at 8/7c on CBS. The cast photos and bios below –
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UPDATE – CBS has now confirmed that the remaining two castaways are returning vets Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz.
“Having never been awarded the title of Sole Survivor, Hantz and Mariano return to compete for the $1 million prize and one last shot at redemption,” CBS said in a statement. “They will each join a separate tribe of all new castaways at the start of the game, but it is the tribe who will ultimately decide if they will welcome the knowledge of an experienced veteran, or view these former castaways as a threat.”